Promote Your Business, Not Your Opportunity

by SaRita Custis

You've found the most amazing opportunity and signed up as a distributor. Now what?

Most people new to the direct sales industry spend all of their time, effort and money on promoting the company they just joined. They love the products and get excited about the income opportunity, so they tell everyone who might possibly be even a tiny bit interested.

This sounds like exactly what you're supposed to do, right? Isn't that what most network marketing companies teach you do?

Unfortunately, approaching your new business this way – while it might help you sell some products and get a few team members – doesn't allow you to build a long-term, sustainable business.

Remember: you are in business for yourself.

Yes, you are selling another company's products and services to earn your income, but what happens if that company goes out of business? Or if they change the way they do business in a way that goes against your values? Or if they increase prices so that the products are out of reach for your market?

If your customers and your team members are tied to the company and not to YOU, and disaster strikes, you'll be out of business.

So what do you do instead?

The key is to focus on building your business into a thriving concern so that you can adapt quickly and continue to grow regardless of changes in the company, the economy, technology, or the market.

You do that by positioning your company with YOU as the core product.

Your customers buy from you because they trust YOUR recommendations to solve their problem. Your team members join your downline because they believe YOU will help them achieve their goals. You ARE the brand.

Here are seven simple strategies that will help you build the lasting relationships you need with your customers, your team members, and your network.

1. Know your product.

It's much easier to help your prospects and customers make an informed buying decision when you know your product inside and out. That means both the products you sell and the network marketing opportunity. You should be prepared to answer questions and to make recommendations based on their specific situation.

2. Stay in front.

Let your customers and team members know they should contact you for help first, and tell them how to reach you. Do everything possible to answer their questions or resolve their issues without them having to contact the company. Even when you have a large organization, you should be the go-to resource.

3. Follow up immediately.

When a new customer makes a purchase, contact them right away to let them know you're available to answer any questions. Give a warm welcome and information about your team to new team members. Send every new contact a “nice to meet you” message. Let people know you appreciate them and that you're glad they're part of your circle.

4. Host fun events.

Hold customer appreciation get-togethers – in person or online – that bring added value to your customers but are not focused on selling something. Do the same for your team members with team building activities, reunions, retreats, or even simple parties where they can just enjoy a time of fun and fellowship.

5. Publish content regularly.

If you have a blog, post helpful articles and/or videos several times a week. Stay connected with your audience and grow your network by posting engaging content on social media sites. Whenever possible, leverage your content by encouraging the audience to join your mailing list so that you can stay in contact with them.

6. Systematize your training.

Set up a high-quality training program and provide it to every team member as soon as they join your organization. You can set up a simple autoresponder series or website to make sure every person you enroll can learn how to be successful with your opportunity.

7. Keep in touch.

Set up mailing lists for prospects, customers, team members, and other contacts, and send messages to each group regularly. Let them know what's going on, share helpful tidbits, and let your network know you're there to help them. You should also consider sending cards and gifts for special occasions (or just because).

Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with prospects, customers, team members and others gives you the foundation for long-term business success. Once you have earned their trust, your network will continue to look to you as someone who provides solutions and actually cares about helping them. Remain consistent in nurturing those relationships, and watch your brand grow.

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